David Tredinnick (politician)

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For other people named David Tredinnick, see David Tredinnick (disambiguation).
David Tredinnick MP
Member of Parliament
for Bosworth
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 June 1987
Preceded by Adam Butler
Majority 5,032 (9.3%)
Personal details
Born (1950-01-19) 19 January 1950 (age 64)
Worthing, Sussex, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Rebecca Shott
Alma mater Eton College
St John's College, Oxford
University of Cape Town
Website bosworthconservatives.com

David Arthur Stephen Tredinnick (born 19 January 1950) is a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom.

A former officer in the Grenadier Guards, Tredinnick was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosworth in Leicestershire in 1987, and as of 2014 continued to represent the constituency. He is an advocate of alternative medicine, and has been Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (previously Integrated and Complementary Healthcare) since 2002.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tredinnick went to Eton College, then St John's College, Oxford, gaining a MLitt. He then went to the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town, where he gained an MBA. From 1972–73, he was a trainee at EB Savory Milln & Co stockbrokers, then in 1974 he was an account executive at Quadrant Int in 1974. In 1976, he was a salesman at Kalle Infotech UK, and sales manager at Word Right Word Processing from 1977–78. From 1978–79, he was a consultant at Baird Communications NV, and marketing manager at QI Europe Ltd from 1979–81. He was manager at Malden Mitcham Properties from 1981–87.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Tredinnick contested the revived seat of Cardiff South and Penarth in 1983, coming second (with a 35.9% vote share) to James Callaghan. He won Bosworth in Leicestershire in 1987. He was once a Parliamentary Private Secretary, but was forced to resign and was suspended for 20 days[2] after it was reported that he had abused parliamentary privilege by agreeing to accept payment of £1,000 to ask questions in Parliament in what became known as the cash-for-questions affair, possibly following financial losses as a Lloyds of London name.[3]

Committee membership[edit]

Tredinnick was the Chair of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments from 1997–2005[4] -which also made him a member of the Liaison Committee, and he became a Member of the Health Select Committee in 2010.[4]
In January 2013 he was co-opted into the Science and Technology Select Committee[5][6] after Caroline Dinenage stepped down and there were no other nominations from the Conservative party.[7]

Support for complementary and alternative medicine[edit]

Tredinnick supports complementary and alternative medicine including homeopathy and chiropractic.[8] In October 2009, he told Parliament that blood doesn't clot under a full moon; a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons of England warned his colleagues would "laugh their heads off" at the suggestion.[9] In the same debate, Tredinnick characterised scientists as "racially prejudiced".[8]

Health journalist Victoria Lambert interpreted Health Minister Jeremy Hunt's call for traditional Chinese medicine to be available on the NHS as an endorsement of Tredinnick's call for integrated alternative healthcare. Tredinnick says that herbal medicine is not quackery, is cost-effective and, unlike Western medicine, has been used for thousands of years in China. Professor David Colquhoun of the Cochrane Collaboration says it was banned by the Emperor as superstitious nonsense in 1822 but reintroduced by Mao-Tse Tung whose own doctor did not use it.[10]

In July 2013, Tredinnick sponsored an Early Day Motion congratulating a farmer for his decision to use homeopathy.[11] The motion was supported by one other MP but the British veterinary association said there is no evidence of any benefit of the treatment.[11]

Tredinnick is a supporter of astrology and its use in medical practice.[12] In November 2009, he spoke at a meeting organised by the Astrological Association of Great Britain,[12] where he related his personal experience of astrology and illness, advocating that astrology be integrated into the National Health Service (NHS).[12] In 2014 he told MPs: "I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier."[13]

Criticism[edit]

Tredinnick's views have attracted criticism.[9] During the 2010 United Kingdom general election, he was opposed by New Scientist journalist Dr. Michael Brooks who objected to "Tredinnick's outspoken promotion of complementary and alternative medicine."[14] During a hustings debate called by Brooks to "highlight the scientific literacy of the UK's elected representatives", Brooks said that Tredinnick regarded homeopathy as a suitable treatment for malaria and HIV, which Tredinnick did not deny.[14] In March 2013, Tredinnick's opinions were described as "nonsensical" by the government's outgoing chief scientist, Sir John Beddington, who said the MP had fallen for the "Galileo fallacy" ("Galileo was laughed at but was right; therefore since I am laughed at I must be right").[15]

Tredinnick's appointment to the Health Committee in June 2010 was criticised in two science reports in The Guardian.[16][17] Martin Robbins said the appointment was "an extremely disturbing development", even though "Tredinnick is a figure unlikely to be taken seriously by policymakers".[16] Nature's Adam Rutherford described Tredinnick as "misinformed about a great many things" and said that "giving [him] influence on medical policy...is a bad move."[17] The Telegraph's writer Ian Douglas described the appointment as "a problem."[9]

Tredinnick's appointment to the Science and Technology Committee also drew criticism. Andy McSmith in The Independent cited Tredinnick's view that homeopathy could cure HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, urinary infections, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, diabetes, epilepsy, eye infections, intestinal parasites, cancer, and gangrene among other conditions, and quoted Imran Khan, former head of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, as saying that "someone with such incredibly odd views is not helpful."[5] Tom Whipple in The Times said his appointment caused despair,[6] whilst Elizabeth Gibney in Times Higher Education quoted the Skeptical Voter website as saying that Tredinnick is "perhaps the worst example of scientific illiteracy in government."[7]

Freedom of Information and expenses[edit]

In May 2007, David Tredinnick was among 98 MPs who voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act,[18] ending the compulsory legal requirement for MPs to disclose their expenses.[19] The move was later overturned by the House of Lords.[20]

In 2009, Tredinnick claimed £125 for a course on "intimate relationships" on his Parliamentary office costs allowance, but this was rejected.[21] In 2006 he claimed for astrology software and tuition, saying it was for a debate on alternative medicine, and had been cleared with the Commons fees office.[22] In early 2010, during the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, it emerged that Tredinnick had chosen to return £755.33 as he had decided that his expenditure on astrology software was supplementary to his parliamentary duties, although the parliamentary commissioner for standards John Lyon had decided against requesting that he should do so.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Tredinnick has a daughter (born February 1987) and son (born July 1989).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tredinnick's Web site: About David". Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  2. ^ BBC profile Accessed 20 Feb 2008.
  3. ^ Patricia Wynn Davies (11 July 1994). "MPs face 'cash for questions' inquiry". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "David Tredinnick". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b McSmith, Andy (31 January 2013). "David "the awesome power of the moon" Tredinnick joins the Commons Science Committee". The Independent (London). Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Scientists despair as homeopathy Tory MP, David Tredinnick, gets key post". The Times. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Gibney, Elizabeth (1 February 2013). "Tory MP Tredinnick's committee nomination sparks concern". Times Higher Educational. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "House of Commons Debate 14 Oct 2009". Theyworkforyou.com. 6 June 2000. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Douglas, Ian (11 October 2010). "MPs believe the funniest things". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Lambert, Victoria (2 April 2014). "Has the Minister for Magic Jeremy Hunt gone too far?". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Holehouse, Matthew (9 July 2013). "The MP who wants homeopathy for sheep". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c http://www.astrologicalassociation.com/pages/reviews/eventDays/09-Brighton.php
  13. ^ "Astrology-loving MP seeks health answers in the stars". BBC News. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Duckett, Adam (29 April 2010). "UK election: Round one to the Science Party". Newscientist.com. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Jump, Paul (12 March 2013). "MP triggers homeopathy dispute at science committee". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Robbins, Martin (26 June 2010). "Conservatives put Dumb and Dumber on the health select committee". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Rutherford, Adam (25 June 2010). "Health select committee lunacy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  18. ^ ""How did my MP vote on the Maclean Bill?", Campaign For Freedom of Information, May 2007". Cfoi.org.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  19. ^ Hencke, David (19 May 2007). "MPs vote to exempt themselves from anti-secrecy law". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  20. ^ ""The Lords destroy bid to keep MPs' expenses secret", Evening Standard, 14 June 2007". Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  21. ^ Allen, Nick (20 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: David Tredinnick tried to claim for 'intimate relationships' course". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  22. ^ Ward, Simon (19 June 2009). "David Tredinnick: £6,000 in phone calls over a year". Leicester Mercury. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  23. ^ Swaine, Jon (14 January 2010). "MPs' expenses: David Tredinnick repays £750 in secret deal". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Adam Courtauld Butler
Member of Parliament for Bosworth
1987–present
Incumbent